There is a lot riding on the Texans’ visit this upcoming Saturday, as with a Jaguars’ loss the winner takes the AFC South, but also the team that wins this game gets a guaranteed playoff spot. As a fan of course, there is nothing bigger than making the playoffs, and if you would have told me after Anthony Richardson’s injury early on in the season that we would be here I would not have believed you. Which takes me to the main point of the article: Shane Steichen deserves to win Coach of the Year.
Now currently Browns’ head-coach Kevin Stefanski is the favorite, at -1000 odds, but Shane Steichen and DeMeco Ryans are the second best at +1000. As Steichen and Ryans will go against each other, the winner of that matchup will certainly get a boost. Now first of all Stefanski clearly deserves a lot of praise for what he has done with Cleveland, and I would not be upset if he was the one to win the award, but this is a Colts’ page and we write about the Colts.
Now even though the playoffs are of course the biggest prize, for either organization having the COTY would help further establish what have been two great first year head-coaches. What DeMeco Ryans has done for a Texans’ franchise lacking top tier talent, with a (sensational) rookie quarterback, and a ton of injuries in the offensive line, is truly commendable, and if he wins against us on Saturday then he would be my personal pick for the award.
If Steichen wins the award it would be yet another unlikely Colts’ head-coach after Bruce Arians won it in 2012. Steichen dealt with the loss of his starting rookie quarterback, who he shaped the entire offense around, the holdout and contract drama of his All-Pro running back, the loss of his #1 tight end the entire season, right tackle Braden Smith missing 7 games, and countless other setbacks on defense, and still has a team with mostly the same players that finished 4-12-1 last season. Another aspect that I believe speaks well of Steichen is the accountability he has definitely installed in the locker room, the proof of that being Shaq Leonard’s release even though he was perhaps the most influential player in the locker room the past couple of years.
Now I also really appreciate Steichen, because when we drafted Richardson I was mostly excited because no matter how good or bad it was going to be an entertaining season, but after he went down I was worried this was going to be yet another lost year of boring losing football. Instead, Steichen kept the crew together and somehow the Colts will finish the year with a winning record, and are playing an anticipated playoff matchup this Saturday.